These works of art represent the dreams that the "tirailleurs" may have had while participating in World War I and World War II, trying, unconsciously, to reach their ancestors, cultures and traditions, asking their divinities to help, lead and protect them. A dream could be a very brief moment of inner peace.
The staging, costumes and styling bring these circumstances into our contemporary context where similar phenomena are experienced.
The metallic tone represents the harms and bullets while blue is the colour they had to wear for the French army. Finally, black is the symbol of their true selves. Black African men, away from home, families and cultures but relying on their spiritual traditions and their ancestral souls to remain mentally and physically safe in a hostile atmosphere. In those dreams, their ancestors appear and give them strength and courage.This series is co-directed with Xoulixool, the photographer of the editowho co-worked on the art direction.
How did they live this new reality?
What was their main goal and how did they manage to remain mentally healthy?
How did it affect them emotionally, psychologically and physically?
How did they spiritually face this traumatic situation?
What kind of spiritual forces did they call to survive this?
We want to put ourselves in their shoes to feel and pay tribute to their incredible strength.
We don't really need to be in their shoes because we can't help but see how these feelings and experiences are still real today.
This project then expresses a space-time in which we have broken a cycle on our own.
Art direction: Browncoffeemoka and Xoulixool
Fashion design, accessory design and jewellery: Browncoffeemoka
Model: Doudou Ndiaye
Shooting assistant/BTS photographer: Victoria Boyenga Bofala (miladyvictoria)
Credits: Browncoffeemoka and Xoulixool
Artworks: Browncoffeemoka, 2020